I’m a mess. A glistening, moppish, soggy, disheveled mess.
Just about every moment of the day and even night here in the Philippines, I’ve been sweating. I can’t stop.
There are several reasons for that.
First, I just came back here after almost two months in the U.S., where it was unseasonably cold, dry, and even snowed well before Thanksgiving. Naturally, my body will go through an adjustment period to reacclimatize after coming back.
And I did return to Manila, which is like the humidity capital of the world and even way more drippy (for lack of a better word) than Dumaguete further south where I’ve been living the last year and a half.
Also, I’ve been stepping up my workouts, hitting the gym once or even twice a day and even running (my least favorite thing in the world besides vacuuming and attending weddings), to get ready for the Judd Reid Fight Camp in Thailand in one month.
Put it all together, and my system is in revolt, with sweating profusely my new default. It’s gotten so bad that yesterday around 5 pm, when it wasn’t even hot out, I went to a coffee shop to work and I JUST COULD NOT STOP SWEATING, even in line and sitting indoors with the AC blasting.
Of course, I’ll adjust somewhat, but I’ll always be a sweater. No, not that kind of sweater.
But life in the tropics is exceptionally uncomfortable in the climate department on a day to day basis, unless you happen to be lucky enough to be chilling by the beach. Yes, it gets exceedingly hot, but that’s not what gets me, as I’ve lived in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, and now the Philippines the last seven years. It’s that damn , and there’s no escaping, even when standing in line at a café, at a shaded outdoor cafe on an otherwise pleasant afternoon, or on a bus.
So, I was ecstatic when I was shopping for a few things at my new apartment at DIY, a hardware store in the Venice Grand Canal Mall here in Manila, and saw the Asahi portable fan. Assuming it’s a Japanese brand (like Asahi the beer), I picked it up and bought one to give it a try. It was only about 250 or 300 Pesos if I recall – $5 or $6 max – so I didn’t have high hopes, as I’ve used smaller ones that blew a tiny whiff of cool air before their batteries went out or they stopped being worth the hassle.
But this model looked and certainly felt different. It’s about six inches high so bigger than the cheap throwaway portable fans out of China, with 3 ½ inches or so at the widest point of the round fan. It sits on a stand that can easily be attached to the handle so you can put it right in front of you on a desk or table out and about, or hold it in your hand when you need to. The best part is that it does have an internal battery (which is replaceable), but it is rechargeable with a simple mini USB connection. Although I haven’t timed it, the sales lady said that it takes about an hour to fully charge but will blow air for 3-4 hours off of that. It also works perfectly fine with a partial charge.
So, the big question is: “How well does it work?” The fan has three settings. The first time you press the on/off button, it only blows a bit of air so you’ll barely feel it, but two presses of the button and you definitely feel a slight breeze that is good enough to cool you or keep the flies away, and three presses and it actually does a surprisingly good job of fanning you off and keeping you cool even from a foot or two away.
I’ll definitely start carrying this fan around with me, and it will be a lifesaver as I adjust to the humidity here in Manila!